Ms. Laveus said her brother, Reginald Daniel, waited years for a U.S. visa but got caught up in the growing backlog. She knew she had to help him flee, particularly after he began suffering seizures because of brain swelling from a gunshot wound to the head.
When Mr. Biden announced early last year that Haitians would be eligible for parole, Ms. Laveus immediately filed the paperwork to prove she would be able to financially support her brother and his son for two years.
“When my brother came, he was skin and bones,” Ms. Laveus said. “If I took a picture of how he looked and I gave you a picture of how he looks now, you would see the striking difference.”
Mr. Daniel is now training to work in security, and his son has attended a military academy in Florida. While Ms. Laveus is optimistic for her brother and nephew, she also is “very leery and worried” about what the congressional talks could mean for their opportunity to apply for future immigration status.
Mr. Biden’s allies say restricting use of parole would very likely backfire.
“It means that people in desperate circumstances, who need protection, who need to leave, who need to flee their options, will be more limited, which increases the likelihood they choose the dangerous option of coming to the border,” said Cecilia Muñoz, one of Mr. Biden’s top immigration officials during the transition and co-chair of Welcome.US, an organization that helps Americans sponsor the resettlement of refugees to the United States.
Karoun Demirjian contributed reporting from Washington.